Rochester mayor suspends cops involved in Daniel Prude death

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said Thursday she was suspending all seven cops involved in the police custody death of Daniel Prude, adding she did so “against the advice of counsel.”

“I have never shied away from taking action and holding our police or anyone that fails in their duty in our community accountable,” Warren said at a news conference. “That is why I am suspending the officers in question today, against the advice of counsel.”

“I understand that the union may sue the city for this,” she said, according to WROC-TV. “They shall feel free to do so. I have been sued before.”

Prude, 41, was seen on police bodycam video naked and in distress on March 23 when he was confronted by Rochester cops.

The officers, who are heard laughing through parts of the video, handcuff Prude and put a spit mask over his head — with one cop holding his head down until he stops moving. He was declared brain dead and died one week later.

Warren said police initially told her that Prude died from an apparent drug overdoes — and didn’t see the disturbing video until Aug. 4. That’s when the mayor said she then demanded details of all police use-of-force cases in the city.

“What I saw in that video was a man who needed help, a man who needed compassion, a man who needed humanity,” Warren said in a video posted by WCYB-TV. “A man who we should have respected, a man who was in crisis.”

“Our response to him was wrong,” she added. “We need to change how we deal with these situations going forward.”

At least three of the cops were identified in a police report obtained by lawyers for Prude’s family, according to WROC — Mark Vaughn, Troy Taladay, and Francisco Santiago.

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